What game are you playing?

Overwatch update:

I’m an Ana main now. Thank you for your time.

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With Eiyuden Chronicles being announced, I decided to dust off my old PS3 and play some Suikoden. I’ve played all the games but IV and Tactics, but I haven’t played any of them in a long time. I started my reunion with the series with 1, but bounced off it after a few hours and then decided to go straight to Suikoden II, which is so much better.

It’s amazing how much of a difference an understandable UI and a run button make.

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Slay the Spire y’all, holy shit. Why did I not play this game sooner? It’s like all of the good parts of magic without having to feel really embarrassed when I lose. I was able to get three wins for each of the first unlocked characters, and each deck played out so differently. I think my favorite is the Silent just cause drawing cards is such a great feeling

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In addition to the never ending XCOM I tried out Grounded that survival game by Obsidian and I like what is there. It feels very much like a Subnautica where it’s a survival game but it also wants to tell a mysterious story. I think once it is a finished game it will be good and I like that it is co-op because I’m for sure going to need someone to help kill the bigger bugs.

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Ghost of Tsushima is the most adequate game I have ever played. It is utterly gorgeous and completely unremarkable. Like trying to flirt with a MacBook Pro.

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Ok, deep breaths, this is just speaking your truth.

I don’t think I like Yoku’s Island Express all that much. I mean, it’s got a lot going for it. Metroidvania meets pinball is an intriguing premise. The music is fantastic. The art has got styyyyyle. But boy is it a chore to play. Navigation is just so convoluted with the pinball table-like levels requiring intense flipper precision lest you get caught in a loop for 5 minutes. And that horn, that horn! Such an ear splitting sound even when I set the volume low, and I’m constantly accidentally triggering it as it doubles as the game’s interact button. I just can’t with this game anymore.

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Started playing Alien Isolation more seriously than ever (finally… don’t know why I waited!) the other day and am really enjoying it. I haven’t really played a horror game since REVII, so the jumps are really getting me sometimes.

I just got… The stun baton? They didn’t really explain how to use it in game, so I had to look it up. I was mostly doing fine without it before, but I guess it’ll make sneaking through some rooms a bit easier.

I adored Yoku’s Island Express, but holy shit that horn! I was living with my parents at the time I played and our dog would hear the horn and run into the room and start jumping at my speakers. It was very cute, but I was very afraid for my speakers!

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I recently upgraded my PC and have been delving into my PC gaming in a bit way. I can’t tell you how much of a joy it is to play Destiny 2 without any drops in frames, or loading between menus. The game just works and doesn’t stutter. Setting off chain reaction explosions and watch everything go flying never gets old. In anticipation for Balders Gate 3, I also started playing Divinity: Original Sin. I’m quite early in, but liking it so far. Some of the humour and tone reminds me of Fable and it does remind me of playing Planescape Torment and Balders Gate back in the day.

A friend started playing No Man’s Sky so I’ve been hopping back on to check out the multiplayer and mainly ruin his base with my own structures and flags. But then I was like, “NO! Give me more realism in my space sim” and so installed Elite Dangerous.

I finished all the tutorials and was finally ready to forge a lucrative career as a space trucker but then it appears my ship is too feeble to make jumps to systems so far away. I also took a bunch of quests and came back to them 24 hours later to be notified that I had now incurred a space fine of 70k space bucks and lost all my reputation with one of the companies. I decided to set my sights lower and took a really easy mission yesterday to find food parcels and sell them at a specific station. But after jetting to various neighbouring systems could only find places selling minerals. No food packages.

Would it were so simple.

This game is dense. I love the realism and the sound design is stellar. I’ve just been playing whilst listening to the Interstellar soundtrack. I love the feeling of sitting in your cockpit with all your interfaces lit up in front of you for the Ridley Scott effect. The epic monotomy of taking off and landing your space craft is just great. I just wish I knew what I was doing. Feels like I need to read up on stuff just to get some direction.

All of this is likely just paving the way for being able to play Microsoft Flight Simulator.

Finished Deadly Premonition, is what I would say if some bug causing the left stick to stop working on the last section hadn’t made it impossible to actually beat it. But could you ask for a more genuine Deadly Premonition experience than that? I watched the ending on youtube instead.

I think that’s a pretty fun game. I interacted with basically none of the things you could do and just focused on the story, so I wouldn’t mind if they had cut some stuff, for example the fucking driving. But I guess the weird scope is part of what makes it special.

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I’m sure the answer to this is yes, but has anyone else found that quarantine has pretty dramatically changed how they consume games? I’ve basically reverted back to the way I played games as a teenager/unemployed person. I’ve been replaying a ton of older games, including some pretty questionable ones, and I’ve even dug out some of my older handheld consoles for the first time in years. I just can’t imagine myself doing that if I didn’t suddenly have so much free time on my hands. Most recently I’ve played:

Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow - This was the only GBA Castlevania I missed out on as a young person, and one of only two IGA Castlevanias I hadn’t played before. It’s very good so far! Though I will say I’m moving through it at a much faster pace than I remember progressing in the old games - I only played for what felt like a handful of hours over the weekend, and I’m already at over 50% castle completion with a decent number of upgrades. I’m assuming that will slow down as the difficulty ramps up and it becomes harder to find new areas. Anyway, the pixel art hold ups great (though it is a brighter game than I expected) and I slipped back into the rhythm of the combat almost immediately. It’s been so long since I played a Castlevania game it’s hard for me to say where it falls in the grand scheme of things, though it’s clearly in the upper tier. Portrait of Ruin would be the obvious next step for me and would mean I’ve played every modern entry in the series, but tbh I’m more interested in replaying Symphony of the Night or Order of Ecclesia.

Castlevania: Rondo of Blood - About once a decade I get it in my head that I’m going to try to finish an old-school Castlevania, and every time I get my ass absolutely handed to me. I made it as far as stage 6 before I threw in the towel this time. I beat my head against a wall with Death at the end of stage 5 for multiple days, and I honestly didn’t think I was going to get past that point; eventually I did, only to immediately be greeted by a boss rush. As much as I appreciate the art and music, I think I finally have to admit that old-school Castlevania just isn’t for me. The difficulty is too much and they just don’t click for me in the way the post-SOTN games do.

FEAR 2: Project Origin - Folks, I don’t even know where to start with this game. I remember liking it well enough on release, and for the first few minutes it does make a good impression; I thought it was going to be a better-looking version of the first game, with maybe slightly tweaked combat. Sadly, it is not that. It looks better, sure, but everything else about it is much dumber and more boring than the first game. When people describe FPS’s as shooting galleries, this is exactly what they’re talking about. There’s absolutely no tension to the encounters, the guns have no punch to them, and the enemies never do anything to even remotely surprise you. I don’t even understand what went wrong to make it so inferior to the original. It also starts treating the story a lot more seriously than the first game, which on the surface is a good idea, but in reality it was a lot more charming as goofy camp. This game is trash and I can’t find a single reason to recommend it. I won’t be continuing with the series.

Lonely Mountains: Downhill - I kept hearing good things about this, and it’s on Game Pass, so I finally gave it a shot. I’m glad I did! It has a really great vibe - even though the graphics are low-poly, there’s so much attention to detail, from the sound your wheels make skidding down a mountain to to the way the wildlife moves, that it does a great job capturing the feeling of being alone in the wilderness. That alone would be enough to sell me, but there’s also a very solid, physics-y biking game in there too. It’s alternately very chill and twitch-based; you can either have a nice, leisurely ride down a mountain, or you can fling yourself down anything even remotely resembling a slope in hopes of shaving a tenth of a second your time. I think I love it.

I’ve been (slowly) making my way through Yakuza 5. I’m about 32 hours in and, according to HowLongToBeat it seems like I’m maybe halfway through which is exhausting to think about. There is so much video game here… maybe a bit too much, if I’m honest.

I really liked Part 1 and the ending was especially great, when Kiryu sets up a fake fight between the Tojo Clan and the Yamagasa and ends up fighting all the Tojo Clan soldiers on his own. It was a really cool moment and I think was really enhanced because it was one of the few times in the series that I felt like not only is Kiryu doing a cool action movie thing but that I was the one making him do it and I wasn’t just watching a cutscene of some wild action and maybe hitting a QTE in the middle or something.

I wanted to like Part 2 more than I did because I really like Saejima as a character but this section felt so slow and a lot of it feels like it’s going to barely connect back to the main plot. The first chapter with everything in the jail and the escape feels like it exists to setup one character for you to interact with. Then the next chunk after that in the hunting village is basically only there for the Side Mission stuff and feels like a wholly separate storyline. Then once you get to the main city of this part, there was barely any main plot stuff which made Part 2 feel really uneven. I did enjoy bits of it but it was kind of hard for me to get through because I had so little enthusiasm for so much of it that I never felt very eager to play it.

I’m currently up to Part 3, Second Half when Akiyama shows up and you alternate between him and Haruka and while I liked the initial change for the first half of Part 3, it eventually started to feel a bit too gimmicky and repetitive. Although that might be part of my own doing because I did almost all the sub-stories and Side Mission stuff I possibly could, so I’m not sure how fair of a criticism that is against the game.

I’m excited to get back going with this game again but I feel like that’s mostly because I want to get through 5 so that I can get to Yakuza 6. It’ll be nice to be back on the Dragon Engine and since 6 is probably the one I know the least about going into it (I think there’s a baseball team? that’s kinda it) I’m very ready to be surprised by whatever it is that happens in it.

I’ve also been playing Guild Wars 1 again as a podcast game and it’s still real good, even after 15 years. I started a new Ranger to play around in Pre-Searing (which is still probably one of my all-time favorite video game tutorial areas) and also started a Mesmer because 1) I had never used out for PvE before and 2) apparently the current meta says that they’re very strong. Even though I’ve done pretty much everything in the game several times over, it’s still fun to go back through it all again.

Played through Creaks last week, and the puzzle difficulty/complexity definitely hits the right spot for me. The art design is amazing like all of Amanita designs.

One content warning for people is you go through the game and find these sort of penny arcade machines that you play as these one off mini-games, and one of them has this colonial scene that I found really off-putting because you’re not really asked to do much besides gawk at the sequence. Definitely thought it was a blemish on an otherwise charming game.

Slay the Spire: Last night I figured out what pandora’s box does, and it absolutely ruined one of my ironclad runs!

Otherwise, I’m trying for The corrupted heart and it’s tough! I’m still learning what cards are good an which ones I just shouldn’t be picking up, and just not picking up cards in general to keep my deck thin. Games good!

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I tried Yoku last night, as it’s leaving Game Pass soon. I gave it about 30 minutes to an hour, and I think I’m with you. It’s charming, but wow, I am not good at, nor do I enjoy pinball. Spending a minute repeatedly knocking myself in a circle while trying to get out of an area is not my idea of fun.

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I’m playing Fall Guys, an adorable Battle Royale Game Show where you play as one of 60 squishy blob creatures and go through a number of Wipeout-style obstacle courses, races, survival challenges, and team events to be the last blob standing. It’s just so wholesome and cute and another refreshing take on the BR genre. Oh and it’s currently free for PS+ subscribers!

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This game looks so good and exactly the sort of mix up I needed to get back into a BR again

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I finished Resident Evil 7. I think that’s a good and cool game. Looks very nice. Some fresh moments and some very Resident Evil moments. Good scares!

A cool thing near the end: In the lab you read a bunch of notes, including one mentioning how Eveline is starting to look old. Ok, whatever. Then you come back to the house and look at the picture you find in the very beginning of the game. It’s a picture of granny and the caption E-001.Shit, that’s Eveline! She was there all along. They show you the answer to the mystery straight away but you had no idea. Smart, well executed. And in classic fashion it takes Ethan several more minutes to figure it out even after that.

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I really liked RE7, but as the only RE game I’ve ever played the third act did not do it for me. It felt like they were like “oh shit, we have to tie this into the series at large” and given I didn’t have any stake in the series, the lab stuff absolutely didn’t land for me.

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I rewatched Noah Gervais’ videos on the series and so I started playing Wolfenstein: The New Order again. I never actually finished The New Colossus and haven’t played Youngblood at all, so I may as well start from the beginning. I’m playing on “Bring 'Em On” difficulty because I don’t feel like suffering, and I saved Wyatt. Because of course I want BJ to drop acid with Jimi Hendrix.

I think this was the first time I’ve played the game and really took note of how impressively awful its take on Nazi architecture is. It’s the idealized “Classic Western” design, that dumbass white nationalists salivate over these days, taken to an obscene degree. Just these gargantuan slabs of concrete that no one could ever realistically live in; the doodles of a wannabe architect who doesn’t actually know how to fucking draw. And you know what still kicks ass? The sound design of these guns. I forgot how satisfying the “RAT-TAT-TAT” of the chain gun is, especially.

I actually have the next five games that I want to play lined up, Max Payne 3, Umurangi Generation, Judgment, Kentucky Route Zero and I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream. I’m just not sure the order I should start them. What do ya’ll think?

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